BCHL Bulletin: BCHL teams busy on the trade market, Cents sign partnership with Lovell Hockey, and more!

Spruce Kings ink three new players for 2023-24

The Prince George Spruce Kings have signed three new players for the 2023-24 B.C. Hockey League season. They include 2005-born defender Evan Bellamy, 2004-born goaltender Marcus Ouellett, and 2004-born forward Dylan Wegner.

Bellamy, who hails from Hampton, N.B., played 46 games in the Maritime Junior Hockey League with the Grand Falls Rapids, earning seven goals and 37 points to go along with 123 penalty minutes.

Related: First days of BCHL roster moves reflect a new world order

Ouellett, a native of Toronto, spent 2022-23 with the Cochrane Crunch of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League. The American International College commit was 3-20-1 with a 6.52 goals-against average and an .884 save percentage in 26 games for the Crunch.

Wegner spent 2022-23 with the Aberdeen Wings of the North American Hockey League. In 57 games for the Wings, the Michigan State University commit from Nashville, Tennessee posted 14 goals and 29 points. He was scoreless in three NAHL playoff games.

Capitals complete Strickland trade with Wellington

The Cowichan Valley Capitals have acquired 2004-born forward Matheson Mason and 2004-born goaltender Ethan Morrow from the Wellington Dukes of the Ontario Junior Hockey League as the future considerations to complete the Jan. 10 trade which saw 2002-born forward Luke Strickland head east.

Mason calls Toronto home and is committed to Lake Superior State University for September 2024. He started last season with the OJHL’s Aurora Tigers, scoring eight goals and 17 points in 14 games before being traded to the Dukes. Mason tallied 14 goals and 28 points in 28 games for Wellington to close out 2022-23. He added nine points in 11 OJHL playoff games.

As for Morrow, per the OJHL transactions page, the Dukes traded him to the Blackfalds Bulldogs of the Alberta Junior Hockey League on Friday. He had a 20-6-1 record, a 2.37 goals-against average, a .911 save percentage, and three shutouts in 27 games with the Dukes in 2022-23. He was also a member of Canada East at the World Junior A Challenge, playing six games with 2-4-0 record, a 3.66 goals-against average, and an .899 save percentage.

Since the Kingston, Ont. product has been traded in essentially two leagues, his rights sit with two teams. In the CJHL, the Bulldogs hold Morrow’s Hockey Canada rights while in the BCHL, Cowichan Valley has his rights. It’s now up to Morrow to determine which one he’d like to play for.

Vees add two more for the upcoming season

The Penticton Vees have added 2004-born forward James Fisher and 2003-born forward Billy Renfrew for the 2023-24 B.C. Hockey League season.

Fisher, who was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the seventh round of the 2022 NHL Draft, played for the Youngstown Phantoms in the U.S. Hockey League in 2022-23 and posted three goals and 10 points in 42 games. The Burlington, Massachusetts product is committed to Northeastern University for fall 2024.

Renfrew hails from Fairbanks, Alaska, and is committed to Northern Michigan University for September 2024. He played three USHL games for Muskegon last season, scoring one goal. He spent most of the year with Fairbanks of the NAHL and finished with 23 goals and 55 points in 48 games.

Powell River acquires BCHL rights to Orrico

The Powell River Kings have acquired the BCHL rights to 2003-born defender Josh Orrico from the Trail Smoke Eaters as future considerations of a trade on Jan. 10 which saw 2004-born forward Remy Spooner join the Kings and 2003-born forward Max Potvin go to Trail.

Orrico spent the 2022-23 season in the NAHL with the Janesville Jets. In 43 games, the Woodbridge, Ont. native tallied two goals and 15 points. According to College Hockey News, Orrico is headed to the University of Michigan this September.

Bulldogs bring in Léonard for 2023-24

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have announced the signing of 2006-born forward Samuel Léonard for the upcoming season.

Léonard hails from L’Assomption, Que., and had 14 goals and 25 points in 28 games with Collège Esther-Blondin Phénix of the Ligue de développement du hockey M18 AAA du Québec in 2022-23.

The St. Lawrence University commit for September 2025 also had a goal and four points in five QM18AAA playoff games.

Cents add Renaud to their crease for 2023-24

The Merritt Centennials have picked up 2004-born goaltender Lukas Renaud from the Cowichan Valley Capitals as the future considerations to finalize a Jan. 7 trade which saw 2004-born forward Davide Patella join the Caps.

Renaud was a BCHL rookie in 2022-23, finishing with a 4-18-3 record, a 3.90 goals-against average, and an .896 save percentage in 29 games for Cowichan Valley. The Montréal, Que. product is an alumnus of the Chicago Mission 18U AAA program in Chicago, Illinois.

Spruce Kings send Adamek to Coquitlam

The Prince George Spruce Kings swung a trade on Sunday to send 2004-born defender Michael Adamek to the Coquitlam Express for future considerations.

The native of Victoria was scoreless in a dozen games for Prince George last season after being acquired from the Grizzlies on Jan. 2. Adamek had two assists in 16 games with the Victoria Grizzlies prior to the trade to the Spruce Kings.

Vees solidify their crease for 2023-24

Penticton unveiled a trio of goalie signings on Saturday, with 2004-born Andrew Ness, 2005-born Will Ingemann, and 2006-born Sharky Nowek joining the Vees this fall.

Ness was nabbed from the Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the AJHL. Ness, who hails from Winnipeg, Man., had a 6-10-2-0 record with a 3.12 goals-against average, a .914 save percentage, and one shutout in 21 games in Fort Mac.

He is committed to Bemidji State University and represented Canada West at last year’s World Junior A Challenge in Cornwall, Ont. He got into three games for Canada West, which was fourth in the tournament.

Ingemann spent most of this past season with Wayzata High School in his hometown of Plymouth, Minnesota. The University of St. Thomas commit posted an eye-popping 1.38 goals-against average, a .941 save percentage, and six shutouts with an 18-7-2 record in 27 games.

He also played nine games for St. Cloud in the NAHL, compiling a 4-2-0 record, a 2.74 goals-against average, an .894 save percentage, and two shutouts.

Nowek is a Penticton, B.C. product who spent this past season at the Okanagan Hockey Academy playing for its U18 Prep squad in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. In six games for OHA U18 Prep, he was 4-2-0 with a 2.33 goals-against average, an .891 save percentage, and three shutouts.

Prince George sends Skogstad to the Grizzlies

The Victoria Grizzlies have picked up 2005-born forward Brayden Skogstad from Prince George as the future considerations to a deal on Jan. 2 which saw 2004-born defender Michael Adamek sent to the Spruce Kings.

Skogstad hails from Kelowna, B.C., and finished the 2022-23 season with a goal and two assists in 31 games with Prince George. He also got into one playoff game for the Spruce Kings.

As noted above, Prince George moved Adamek to the Coquitlam Express this past Sunday for future considerations.

Reeves and May firm up college plans

West Kelowna Warriors defenders Aiden Reeves and Bobby May have both firmed up their post-junior hockey careers with commitments to post-secondary institutions.

Reeves, who was captain for the Warriors this past season, is off to the University of Toronto to play U SPORTS hockey. The 2002-born product of Prince George, B.C. notched three goals and 10 points in 42 games with West-K in 2022-23.

May, a native of Davidson, North Carolina, is committed to Middlebury College to play NCAA Division III hockey in Vermont. The 2003-born blueliner finished this past season with a goal and 12 points in 49 games with the Warriors.

Kings get Wilson from Surrey as futures

The Powell River Kings have acquired 2004-born forward Trent Wilson from Surrey to finalize the Sept. 14 trade which saw 2003-born forward Ethan Riesterer join the Eagles.

Wilson, a native of Tsawwassen, B.C., wrapped up the 2022-23 BCHL season with six goals and six assists in 32 games. It was his second year in the league after putting up 21 points in 51 games in 2021-22.

Cents strike a deal with Lovell Hockey

The Merritt Centennials have entered into a partnership that sees Lovell Hockey president and owner Tim Lovell join the team as director of player personnel and player development. Lovell is a 49-year-old from Norwood, Massachusetts.

He spent 2022-23 as the general manager of the Boston Advantage in the U.S. Premier Hockey League. The Cents and Lovell Hockey plan to host their first New England import camp later this month in Rockland, Massachusetts.

Powell River picks up Taylor from the Eagles

Surrey completed the Sept. 1 deal that saw 2003-born defender Ross Roloson join the Eagles from Powell River by sending 2004-born defender Tate Taylor to the Kings.

Taylor posted 11 goals and 45 points in 51 games for the Eagles this past season. The Clarkson University commit from Richmond, B.C. added nine points in a dozen playoff games.

According to College Hockey News, Taylor is set to join Clarkson to start his NCAA Division I career this September.

Little leaves the Wild for Cedar Rapids and commits to UND

Wenatchee Wild forward Cade Littler has committed to the University of North Dakota for the 2024-25 NCAA Division I season. The 2003-born Calgary Flames draft pick will also leave the BCHL to play for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL this coming season.

Littler, who’s from East Wenatchee, Washington, was second in scoring on the Wild in 2022-23 with 29 goals and 68 points in 51 games. He added six points in 10 playoff games. Littler also got into four USHL playoff games with Cedar Rapids and posted one assist.

He was originally set to go to Minnesota State University Mankato this fall but de-committed after MSU head coach Mike Hastings left to become bench boss at Wisconsin in March.

Ursulak commits to Maryville University

2002-born Langley Rivermen defender Brett Ursulak has committed to playing American Collegiate Hockey Association hockey at Maryville University starting in September.

The Calgary product played 24 games for the Rivermen after being acquired from Sherwood Park of the AJHL in late November. He finished the season with two goals and nine points in Langley and added a single goal in five Fred Page Cup playoff games.

Vees on the hunt for an assistant coach

The back-to-back Fred Page Cup champion Penticton Vees are on the hunt for an assistant coach. The Vees have Cam Barker, Mark MacMillan, and Matt Miller listed on their website as assistants to head coach Fred Harbinson.

2022-23 was Steve Cawley‘s last behind the bench for Penticton as he has moved into roles as the Vees’ assistant general manager and director of scouting.

Capitals to run expansion JPHL club

The Junior Prospects Hockey League announced that the Island Wild HC has added a U17 team for the 2023-24 season. In the tweet above, the JPHL states that the various age groups of Island HC teams will be “powered” by the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

Being that the JPHL is also a non-sanctioned league, its players are able to affiliate with BCHL teams.

Puffer takes his game to France for 2023-24

Forward Craig Puffer (29 goals, 29 assists in 58 games with Chilliwack in 2014-15) has signed a contract for 2023-24 with Anglet of Ligue Magnus, which is the top division of men’s pro hockey in France.

The 27-year-old from Greenwich, Connecticut had four goals and 13 points in 32 games with the Nottingham Panthers of the U.K.’s Elite Ice Hockey League this past season, his fourth playing in Europe.

Zalewski not offered a contract by EC-KAC

Forward Mike Zalewski (50 goals, 54 assists in 106 games with Vernon from 2010-12) wasn’t offered a new contract for next season by EC-KAC of the ICE Hockey League, which is the top tier of hockey in Austria.

Zalewski, 29, had three goals and seven points in 30 games split between EC-KAC and the Graz 99ers this past season. The New Hartford, New York product had two points in 10 games for the 99ers before being signed by EC-KAC last December.